Ferrari stays on top in Australian GP Saturday practice

The skies are grey in Melboure, but the track is dry for Saturday's first practice session. Alex Yoong is first out in his Minardi and posts a 1.39.316 for provisional fastest. Giancarlo Fisichella, Mark Webber, Allan McNish, Mika Salo and ...

The skies are grey in Melboure, but the track is dry for Saturday's first practice session. Alex Yoong is first out in his Minardi and posts a 1.39.316 for provisional fastest. Giancarlo Fisichella, Mark Webber, Allan McNish, Mika Salo and Heinz-Harald Frentzen join Yoong after a few laps. Fast lap changes hands between Fisichella and McNish, and gradually the other drivers make their appearance.

Oliver Panis and David Coulthard are the next to top the leaderboard, but are swiftly eclipsed by Rubens Barrichello with a 1.27.008. Felipe Massa moves into fifth above teammate Nick Heidfeld.

Then Jordan's Takuma Sato has a big shunt that brings out the red flags. The back end of his car spins out and he goes into the gravel, hitting the wall twice, with debris spread all over the track. This is a big crash but Sato climbs from the car unaided.

After the cleanup is completed pitlane opens again. Many cars out on track, and Jordan's unfortunate incidents continue as Fisichella goes off track, but bounces back. Juan-Pablo Montoya for Williams has brakes on fire and pulls into the pits, the mechanics swiftly pouring ice into the ducts.

Michael Schumacher tops the times for Ferrari with a time of 1.26.202, let's just all bet on Ferrari shall we?

Chequered flag, with the first session over, Ferrari in one-two again.

It's wet in Melbourne again as the second session begins. Barrichello ventures out and swiftly back in, and within minutes it is raining heavily. Michael Schumacher goes out along with Jacques Villeneueve for BAR and Enrique Bernoldi for Arrows.

Massa's Sauber stops on track and the young Brazilian gets out to wander back to the pits. Heidfeld is in trouble but recovers and posts a 1.28.295, seventh fastest.

Michael Schumacher takes to the grass, baby brother Ralf is on track. Pedro de la Rosa for Jaguar and Yoong for Minardi return to their respective garages.

Jenson Button for Renault ventures out, McNish for Toyota followed by Villeneuve for BAR as the rain eases off, 18 minutes to go. Villeneuve clocks a 1.34.138, six seconds off his previous best. Michael Schumacher has a minor spin in the tricky conditions, followed by Heidfeld who slows on the track, some kind of technical problem.

It has started to drizzle again, with two minutes to go, Yoong spins off in his Minardi -- session ends. Yet again Ferrari take 1, 2 with Schumacher and Barrichello.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jenson Button , Pedro de la Rosa , Enrique Bernoldi , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , David Coulthard , Nick Heidfeld , Allan McNish , Mika Salo , Alex Yoong
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Williams , Minardi , Jordan